Climate Innovations Vouchers Program Rules
This document defines the rules for conducting the Innovative Voucher Program (hereinafter – the Program), including, but not limited to, description of the application process, stages, project requirements and criteria for selecting the winning applicant, as well as the deadlines for submitting documents.
These rules may be changed and/or supplemented by the organizers of the Program without prior notification of the Program participants. Updates and changes to the Rules will be announced on the official site of the Program.
Applicant – a company, established as a legal person registered in Ukraine which applies for participation in the Program in order to receive Climate Innovation voucher for development or implementation of a climate technology.
Beneficiary – and applicant meeting the requirements of the Program which won the Climate Innovation Voucher contest getting the right to sign a grant contract.
Grant contract – a contract between the Beneficiary and EBRD on providing non-refundable special-purpose financial help which is to be used to pay for services in the framework of the Program.
EBRD – European Bank of Reconstruction and Development which provides funds for the Climate Innovation Voucher Program.
Innovation Voucher – non-refundable financial aid provided to Ukrainian companies for the development and implementation of climate innovations. Various companies can use Climate Innovation Vouchers – starting with climate technology developers to those willing to use such technologies in order to reduce their environmental footprint or energy use.
Climate technology – any technology, usage of which reduces the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and human adverse climate impact. Usually climate technologies include those which reduce the use of fossil fuels or save energy, increase the usage of renewable energy, reduce the Nitrogen oxide or methane in agriculture, facilitate climate change adaptations or reduce GHG emission in any other way.
Commercial secret – information which is secret in a sense of this information which is in some form or combination of its parts is not known or easily accessible for people who usually deal with this type of information what makes such an information commercially valuable. Such an information was a subject to adequate measures regarding keeping it in secret enacted by a person lawfully controlling this information
Climate technology users – companies planning to reduce their own CO2 emissions and to achieve that require new technological solutions and are eligible to receive co-financing in the framework of the Program.
Service Provider – a legal person which posses necessary expertise, personnel, equipment and organizational capacity sufficient to render services requested by a Program Beneficiary
Climate technology developer – company which develops a climate technology as its own product
Pilot selection stage – first selection of a limited number of beneficiaries which will start on March 28th 2016 with submission deadline on May 28th during which EBRD and Greencubator will finalize and test all the rules and routines of the Programme.
Project Manager – an organization administrating the implementation the of Climate Innovation vouchers Program in Ukraine. During the period of 2017-2018 this task is performed by the NGO “Ukrainian energy innovation network Greencubator”. Administration includes (but is not limited to) designing of rules and procedures, project selection, controlling the quality of services rendered by Service Providers, communication with EBRD office.
Applicant Project – a task, submitted by an Applicant which needs expertise of a Service Provider to be solved thus enabling Applicant to develop or implement a climate technology.
Co-financing – a sum of Beneficiary’s own costs which a Beneficiary pays to a Service Provider for services rendered in the framework of this Program.
Climate Innovation Voucher Program is a financing tool aimed to support Ukrainian companies which implement innovative climate technologies thus contributing to reduction of humanity’s adverse climate impact.
Innovation Vouchers are provided to Applicants as a result of project competition. Evaluation of Applicant Projects is performed by Project Manager and a selected group of industry expert hired by the Project manager. The evaluation is performed according to the project evaluation criteria defined in this document.
Applicants may submit their projects for the Innovation Vouchers contest throughout the whole term of the Program activities (2017-2018). Project Manager will evaluate Applicant Projects and select Beneficiaries according to the time frames of the contest stages provided below:
- Stage 1 (pilot). During this stage, the applications will be accepted from March 28th to May 28th 2017. At this stages the program processes, routines and rules will be tested. Only the vouchers worth up to EUR 20 000 will be available to Applicants applying at this stage.
- Stage 2 (July 1st – October 15th 2017)
- Stage 3 (January 15th – February 28th 2018)
- Stage 4 (May 1st 2018 – June 30th 2018)
The time-frames of these stages may be slightly adjusted. In such case a respective announcements will be made in the News section of the official site of the Program.
Projects which implement innovative climate technologies in the framework of this Program are required to comprise two parties – Applicant and Service Provider. Service Provider implements a project as ordered by the Applicant who develops or implements climate technologies. Service Provider receiver payment from the Program for his services with co-financing from the Beneficiary.
As a result of participation in the Program Beneficiary receives the result of the project with up to 75% of the project cost paid by EBRD. Beneficiary, is required to provide at least 25% of the financing provided by EBRD.
Any Ukrainian startup, small or medium enterprise, cooperative or corporation are eligible to submit their project for Climate Innovation Voucher Program if they develop or implement technologies which reduce negative impact on the climate.
In order to participate in the Program Applicants and Service Providers must adhere to the requirements defined in this section of the Rules. If at any time or any stage of the Program implementation Project Manager or EBRD finds out that any of the participant does not adhere to eligibility criteria than any cooperation with such participant will be stopped. Such participant will not be considered eligible for later participation in the Program.
Please, note that companies participating in the Program can be EITHER Beneficiary OR Service Provider even if they participate in different projects.
General Applicant (potential Beneficiaries) requirements
Applicant submitting their projects for the Program must adhere to the following general requirements in order to be considered eligible:
- Legal person, registered in Ukraine at least 1 year before the project submission date. Physical person entrepreneurs (FOP) can not be Beneficiaries of the Climate Innovation Vouchers Program
- At least one of the final beneficiary (owner) of this legal person, according to Ukrainian state registers is a Ukrainian citizen
- The legal person or its subsidiaries are NOT located at the occupied territories which are not controlled by Ukrainian government
- The legal person is financially stable, is reliable and respectable. Such company must be in a good financial situation, without history of insolvencies, not to be a subject to criminal investigation or a party to litigation or other process which may create reputation risks for EBRD or Project Manager
- 100 % of the company is privately owned (state-owned or communal enterprises are not eligible)
Please, note that a Beneficiary can work with no more than 3 Service Providers
Service Providers must conform to the following requirements in order to be eligible participants of the Program and render services to Beneficiaries:
- Legal persons, either privately or state-owned
- Can be registered in Ukraine or abroad
- Must posses at least 2 years of experience of rendering services required by the Applicant for his project
- Must posses all the necessary permits (licenses, certificates, etc) to perform the services necessary to Applicant/Beneficiary
- Must provide recommendations from at least 2 companies other than Applicant containing their feedback on satisfaction/ quality of services provided
Additional factors that will be regarded by the Project Manager as an advantage when evaluating Service Provider’s capability to provide the services:
- Membership in national industry associations
- Membership in international industry associations
- Certificated from international certification bodies
- State certificates for services/expertise
- Experience of providing services in the framework of projects implemented by EBRD or other international financial institutions or donors
Please note, that in order to participate in the Program, a company must be either a beneficiary or Service Provider. Combination of these roles is not accepted even in different projects submitted to the Program.
A Beneficiary can work with up to 3 Service Providers. At the current stage there are no limitations regarding the number of beneficiaries to which a Service Provider can render its services.
Applicant/Beneficiary and Service providers can not be related persons. These two parties will be considered to be related if one of the following conditions are met:
- Any of the decision makers of Beneficiary company owns a stake in Service Provider company (or vice versa)
- Any of decision makers in Beneficiary company is in legal relation with a decision maker representative of the Service Provider (and vice versa) Explanation: this condition is aimed to avoid a situation when, for example, a director of one company is in legal relations with another company. For example, he/she has a contract with another contractor or part-time job which creates a potential for wrongdoings. If companies sign a contract and deal as legal persons, this condition is not applied
- Any of the coworkers of the Beneficiary, responsible for decision making is related (spouse, brother, son) of the decision making personnel of Service Provider
If at any time of implementation of the Program the Project Manager will find out that a Beneficiary and Service provider are related, any cooperation with both these parties will be cancelled. Participants of the program who received any funds from EBRD will return these funds.
An Applicant submits his project for Climate Innovation Vouchers Program using a web-form on a dedicated page of the Program’s site. The form contains fields allowing to describe the Applicant Project.
The projects can be submitted both by climate technology developers as well as by companies who plan to use climate technologies in their business. Climate technologies users can submit projects which will lead to considerable reduction of GHG emissions by the company itself. Such reduction can be achieved by reducing energy intensity or resource intensity of company’s products, reduction of logistic expenses, optimization of algorithms and business processes, etc.
- Your company have designed a new highly efficient boiler which needs certification. With certain certificates and tests your company can sell them abroad or attract investors who require such certificates before they are ready to invest in your company.
- You want to install new equipment on your production facilities which will allow you to optimize the production process, reduce the resource usage. Your company will need professional service of an engineer-consultant or design bureau to carry out a feasibility study and prepare a technical solution allowing to reach the goals of your project. Climate voucher funds can not be used to purchase equipment but can be used to pay for the services of an engineer or consultant.
- You have a product patented in Ukraine but in order to sell it globally, you need a German patent. The task for your Service Provider will be to get your product patented in Germany.
- You have an IT product but for a widespread adoption you need a phone app allowing the customers to monitor and manage the equipment remotely. The task for the Service Provider is to create such an app.
An Applicant can provide the details of his service provider when submitting his application, though it is not a compulsory requirement. If by the time of application, the Applicant does not have a Service Provider, Project manager will assist such a company in finding it later.
If a Service Provider wishes to participate in the Program such a company needs to fill in a dedicated form at “Service Providers” section of Program’s site. The Project Manager considers that having a Service Provider by the moment of Applicant Project submission to be an advantage.
Climate Innovation Vouchers can be used for acquiring services but not for equipment or materials purchase. Thus, vouchers pay for services, not hardware.
An Applicant in his application has to prove the efficiency of using the funds from the Program to finance the services provided by the Service Provider. Following is the list of services which are eligible for this Program:
- Research and development (R&D). These services include any scientific and research services which provide:
- industrial design of a product
- adapting product for different client/use case
- algorithm development
- Testing. These services include any testing of a specific equipment or software. They include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Equipment testing
- Hardware products testing
- Using precision tools for testing purposes
- Certification. This type of services includes obtaining any certification documents allowing the Applicant to sell his climate technologies and reduce his GHG emissions in order to improve its market position:
- national certification
- influential benchmark testing
- international certification
- Intellectual property protection. Includes IP protection of inventions, models, trademarks, logos and signs:
- Patent research
- IP expertise
- Defining IP protection tactics
- National and international registration of patents, trade marks, signs for goods and services
- National an international IP protection
- IT component development. This type of services can include the development of software components for products of projects allowing to reduce GHG emissions as a part of company’s business processes or as a part of company’s products.
Other services. This list is not comprehensive. If an Applicant proves that considerable GHG emissions reduction using other services than listed above, the Project Manger may propose this project for funding.
Overall capital available for potential Beneficiaries of the Program equals EUR 1 000 000. Program’s Beneficiaries can obtain financing of up to EUR 50 000 (During the pilot stage the maximum sum equals 20 000). Funding is provided according to the contract between EBRD and Beneficiary in EUR.
Applicants can submit their project to get one of two types of vouchers:
- Regular voucher (up to EUR 20 000)
- Mega-voucher (up to EUR 50 000)
Currently there are no limits regarding the number of vouchers of both types.
This is a Beneficiary’s contribution into the implementation of the project proposed. Beneficiary must be ready to contribute at least 25% of the sum of the voucher to Service Provider for the services of the latter provided in the framework of the Program. Co-financing sum is indicated in respective parts of the Applicant Project budget. It is not necessary to finance every expense item in your budget.
- If your company receives a EUR 20 000 voucher, the co-funding must be at least 25% of the voucher value – EUR 5 000. As a result, the total budget of your project should equal voucher value + your co-financing. With a voucher worth EUR 20 000 and EUR 5 000 of co-financing, the complete budget will equal EUR 25 000
- If your company applies for EUR 40 000 voucher, you need to make a co-financing contribution of EUR 10 000 into the project you submit. In this case your total budget will equal EUR 50 000.
- If you want to apply for a voucher of EUR 50 000 value, you need to invest EUR 12500 into the project (25% of the voucher value). In this case, your complete budget will amount to EUR 62 500.
Applicants can also exceed the minimum contribution requirements.
To participate in a contest to get an Innovation Voucher an Applicant must describe his project (which envisages implementation of an innovative climate technology using the assistance of Service Provider) using the application form which can be found at Program’s web-site (www.climate.biz)
The fact of application submission does not imply or automatically means that an innovation Voucher will be awarded to the Applicant. Confirmation of the submitted application form receipt is performed using e-mail provided by the applicant in the Application Form.
All information, provided through the Application form is checked by the representatives of the Project Manager, EBRD as well as experts who evaluate the projects submitted. Project Manager reserves a right to clarify any information provided by the Applicant though the application form.
Providing any kind of false data or information during the application process is a basis for Applicant’s exclusion from the Climate Innovation Vouchers contest with no further right to participate therein.
Any inquiries from Applicants and Service Providers to Project Manager are accepted only in a written form using the FAQ page of the Program’s site.
Applicants selected as winners of the contest which became Beneficiaries are checked using EBRD procedures before awarding a contract. EBRD reserves a right to reject the award of Innovation Voucher to the Applicant after the Project Manager selected the latter as Beneficiary.
The applicants are notified about the result of their application submission using e-mail, provided by the Applicant during the application process (in the application form). Beneficiary receives the right for an Innovation Voucher only after the respective contract is signed between the company and EBRD.
The same company can act either as Service Provider or as Beneficiary in the framework of a project submitted to the Program.
All applications for the Program are accepted through respective electronic forms at the site of the Climate Innovation Vouchers Program. When submitting a project and Applicant will need to provide the following information:
- Contact Information
- General information on the company
- Description of the proposed climate innovation project, a task for the Service provider (which services the Applicant needs for the project) as well as description of how an Innovation Voucher will help Applicant to reduce the GHG emissions and energy usage, increase sales, attract investments, etc
- A detailed project budget along with a filled-in budget file submitted through the respective field of the application form. Important: Budget is accepted only using template which can be downloaded here. If need arises, Applicants can add some fields to the template, but considerable template modifications slow down applications processing
- Co-financing share defined in budget file
- Name of the Service Provider with which Applicant plans to implement project if selected as beneficiary
Please, note that if an Applicant does not have a Service Provider which could implement the project, the Project Manager will provide his assistance in helping with identification of such company.
Upon submission of his project an Applicant receives an e-mail with conformation of the receipt which contains the deadline for the the Project Manager’s decision on the project submitted.
The Applicant must attach the budget to his application form using a designated field. The budget is accepted only in the format which Applicants can download here. Applicants can add some fields to the template, but considerable template modifications slow down applications processing.
Applicants need to read attentively the budget file instructions presented at the first tab of budget spreadsheet.
Applications with budgets submitted with other budget template than this will not be considered for the Program.
To be able to participate in projects implemented by the Applicant/Beneficiary, a Service Provider must be registered in an open Service Providers database which is hosted at the official site of Climate Innovations Voucher Program.
To register as a Service Provider a company needs to submit the registration form available through “Service providers” page at Program’s official site. A Service Provider submits the following information:
- Contact information
- Information on the company
- Description of the services
- Examples of company’s services with contacts of the companies to which they were provided
Upon receiving the data from Service Provider registration form, the Project manager checks the data provided. If a Service Provider adheres to the requirements, the Project Manager adds him to the list of the registered Service Providers. This decision is communicated to a Service Provider via e-mail.
Applicants projects will be evaluated by the Jury, according to the basic criteria listed below. Additionally to those basic criteria, the quality of proposal and quality of information provided in the application and budget quality may be considered by the Jury members.
Basic criteria by which the Jury evaluates submitted projects are the following:
- GHG reduction potential. To which extent a proposed project is capable of reducing CO2 and other GHG emissions?
- Technology/Project adaptability for other sectors, scalability. Can this technology be scaled? Does this innovation have application in other sectors/verticals/industries?
- Innovation level. To what extent this technology will advance climate innovations? Is this a new product or just the adaptation/ new version of the existing solution?
- Market potential. How this technology/product/project can develop the market of climate innovations. Can it increase Beneficiaries’ market share or change the whole climate innovations ecosystem of Ukraine?
- An Applicant submits his project for Climate Innovation Voucher through Program’s site – http://climate.biz/howtoappply/ Important: The budget must be filled in correctly using the template provided by the Project Manager It is not necessary for an Applicant to indicate the name of a Service Provider if he does not have such a company yet. If an Applicant already has a Service Provider the latter organization need to register through respective form at Program’s site. Application with enough details, high-quality explanations backed by numbers tend to get better scores than those described poorly
The better the quality of the project, the easier it is for experts to evaluate its advantage
- Project Manager checks the applications submitted. At this stage the Project Manager checks if the application is filled in correctly and the budget is provided correctly. Project Manager may contact applicants to clarify on missing data. If the application is filled in a wrong manner and Applicant fails to reply to Project Manager’s communications (calls, e-mails) the respective application does not advance to the next evaluation level.
- Project Manager invites experts to evaluate the projects. Key evaluation criteria are listed on the “Rules” page.
- The applications receiving the best evaluations from all the experts are provided to EBRD. After EBRD approval the project Manager performs an in-depth analysis of the applications submitted.
- At the in-depth analysis stage Project manager may ask for additional data on the Applicant. Among the documents and data requested there may be some additional technology or economic analysis of the project, the list of activities of the project which already were implemented as well as documents which can prove company’s financial stability. Applicants must provide such information during one work week since Applicants request. Project Manager checks all the documents and invites Applicants for an interview or visits them. At this Stage the Project Manager can also check Service Provider’s capability to provide respective services. If the Applicant does not have a service provider yet the Project manager assists with finding one.
- Project Manager provides to EBRD the final list of the winners. EBRD approves the winners
- EBRD and the Project Manager announce the winners.
- The winners sign contracts with EBRD. There will be 2 contracts. One – between EBRD and Beneficiary, another one – between EBRD and the Service Provider. It is Beneficiary who decides on the contract variant. Another contract is signed between Service Provider and a Beneficiary.
- Beneficiaries and Service Providers implement their projects.
- Beneficiaries and Service Providers report on success of their projects.
- EBRD transfers the Innovation Voucher value to Beneficiary’s bank account.
- In a year after project completion, a Beneficiary sends the EBRD a report on the impact of the project on company’s development, sales, investment, new markets, etc.